Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Inescapable Stupid

The Mets will, over the course of the season, invariably lose games to teams they ought to beat handily. Such a thing happened this evening. The Mets ran out to a 5-1 lead over the miserable Padres behind some modest hitting and a solid effort from Robert Gsellman. Gsellman departed after 6 innings, and the bullpen blew the lead and ultimately the game, allowing 5 runs before 4 pitchers collectively could record 4 outs. Still, the Mets had opportunity as the Padres seemed more than happy to hand the game back over to the Mets, but the Mets just didn't seem capable of picking up the social cue as they loaded the bases with no outs in the 9th, and when a single would likely have won the game, the next two batters struck out, and the third batter flew out meekly, and the Mets came away with a puzzling 6-5 loss.

Things started off similarly to last night. The Mets banged out several early hits off of oft-injured former gambling addict Jarred Cosart, among them a 3-run double from Wilmer Flores to kick start a 4-run 3rd inning that ultimately knocked Cosart from the game outright. They plated another run in the 4th and everything was lovely. Gsellman, in his return to the rotation, pitched reasonably well against the Padres, which is what you'd expect because the Padres lineup is just a melange of boring. Gsellman made it through 6 but was pulled there after 84 pitches, a curious move considering the state of the Mets bullpen and the fact that Blevins and Sewald, perhaps the only two somewhat-reliable arms, were deemed unavailable. But Fernando Salas, who pitched close to 2 innings on Tuesday, was, and of course after getting two outs ran out of steam. He gave up a hit to Chase d'Arnaud (which is more than could be said for his brother on this night), and then walked Matt Szczur (because Szczur's whole deal is drawing walks and being annoying) and Yangervis Solarte (duh slobber yankee prospect) before finally being pulled in favor of...Neil Ramirez. NEIL RAMIREZ?! Ramirez shouldn't be allowed near the mound unless someone has a 9+ run lead and he's done nothing to prove to me otherwise, so was anyone at all surprised that he came within a goat's whisker of allowing a Grand Slam to Wil Myers?

So by the grace of Mark the ball stays in play and the game is merely tied, and Josh Edgin then has to come in and rescue the Mets from this mess. Fine. The Mets go in the tank in the 7th and out comes Josh Smoker to start the 8th. Smoker also pitched on Tuesday and on his first pitch gave up a rocket of a Home Run to Shemp. So what happens here? You guessed it—first batter, Hunter Renfroe, parked one in the 2nd deck in Left Field.

Now the Mets are losing and the game is creeping past 3 hours. Juan Lagares starts the last of the 8th by hitting a shot to right that Renfroe drops and Lagares ends up on 2nd. He went no further. In the 9th, the Padres go to Brad Hand to close the game, which seemed perfectly normal to me because I have no idea who the Padres closer is actually supposed to be. Maybe it is Hand. I don't know but the Mets had seen plenty of Hand during his time in South Florida Purgatory. Walker singled to start, Duda drew a walk, and Flores singled past Aybar, and had the ball been a bit more well placed, Walker probably would have scored outright. But why push it with no outs? Surely, against a reeling Hand, someone out of Curtis Granderson, Rene Rivera and Juan Lagares ought to be able to push across a run and perhaps two, right?



Sigh. To say I was glad I didn't exchange my tickets off of last night would be an understatement because if I'd been there, I'd be totally apoplectic. Again, I know that sometimes these things happen. Hell, the Mets have lost 47 of the 55 games they've played in Petco Park by the score of 2-1, no matter how good or bad or boring the Padres are. But right now, when the team is just desperately seeking some kind of consistency while they stem the tide and wait for reinforcements, losing like this when they were playing a team that barely showed any signs of life all night just baffles me.

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